Natchez High needs a win over Brandon

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 8, 2008

NATCHEZ — After a slow start in last week’s 49-20 loss to Oak Grove, Natchez high coach Lance Reed knows his team better get on the ball quick — literally.

The Bulldogs (2-3, 0-2) host Brandon High (3-3, 1-1) on Friday in a key matchup to decide third and fourth places in Region 3-5A.

Oak Grove and Meridian, to which Natchez fell 36-10 on Sept. 26, hold second and first place, respectively.

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The Bulldogs fell to a quick 14-point deficit this past Friday, and despite a score in the second quarter, the late first half proved to be their downfall.

Turnovers and the allowance of big plays cost Natchez another 28 points.

The Bulldogs fumbled twice, once on a kickoff return that was returned for an Oak Grove touchdown, and threw two interceptions in the first half.

Reed said his team seemed to improve in the second half, allowing just one more score while garnering 13 more points, but the Bulldogs just could never get within reach.

“It sounds like the same old story, but when you’re playing a good team, you have to give yourselves a chance to win in the fourth. And we didn’t do that,” he said. “We had a lot to overcome.

“When we go back and analyze film, we moved the ball in a lot of instances, but we did things that were very untimely that kind of halted our drives,” Reed added.

Brandon comes to Natchez fresh off a 34-21 win against district foe Terry High.

The Brandon Bulldogs still have to face Meridian and Oak Grove, but have fallen to cross-town foe Region 2-5A Northwest Rankin, Clinton and Hattiesburg, all in a row.

In order to win, Reed said his team must protect the ball and eliminate the mental mistakes that have plagued them the past three football games.